A Look at The Bolts: 2018 NHL Draft Recap

The NHL Draft is officially over so let’s take a look at each player that is headed to the Tampa Bay Lighting, and how the team did overall at this year’s draft.

Round 1

Picks: None

The Bolts did not have a 1st round pick in this year’s draft as they traded it to the New York Rangers when acquiring JT Miller and Ryan McDonagh. Despite not making a move this was still a good draft day for the Bolts, they did not overpay for a first round pick or move any major assets. And as we know from years past Yzerman is one to usually take quantity over quality when it comes to draft picks, as he has traded down in the first round so many times. However, Bolts fans don’t need to worry as the Bolts have one of, if not the best scouting department in the NHL. Especially when it comes to second round picks. Nikita Kucherov being one of those gems found in the second round just a few years ago. Some thought the Bolts might trade up into the first round of the draft by using prospects such as Slatter Kokkoek or Jake Dotchin. However, as mentioned before this did not come to be.

Round 2

Picks: 1 (59th)

In the second round of the NHL draft, the Bolts selected LW Gabriel Fortie. While this is not my favorite pick for the Bolts is not a bad one either. Fortie is a small forward and is best compared to a Tyler Johnson, Brayden Point type player. The Bolts already do have a few of these players especially on the LW side which is why this is not my favorite pick for the Bolts. However, knowing the Lightning scouting department this player has a lot of potential and could be a great playmaker for the Bolts down the road.

Round 3                                                                                                                                                                                                   Picks: 1 (90th)

In the third round of the draft, the Bolts selected Dmitry Semykin a 6 foot 3 201LB Defenceman from Russia. I like this pick for the Bolts as we have mentioned before the Bolts lack some “toughness” from a lot of their players. This is a guy who can bring a physical presence to the game and be that defensive defensive player that we need. And don’t forget he is a Russian and boy do the Bolts know when to draft Russians.

Round 4

Picks: 1 (121st)

The Lighting selected Alex Green a 6 foot 2 188LB defencemen from Chicago in the fourth round. This draft was full of good defensemen and Green is no exception, Green was best known for his penalty kill skills at Cornell University which could be very useful for the Bolts in the near future. Green also has the ability to make some plays offensively which fits the playing style of the Bolts.

Round 5

Picks: 1 (152nd)

With the 152nd pick of the fifth round, the Bolts selected goaltender Magnus Chrona who stands at 6 foot 4. I like this pick by the Bolts as they only currently have 4 goaltenders on contract and while they might not need another goalie for a while, Chrona is only 17 giving him plenty of time to grow and develop in the minors. Chrona posted a 2.13 GAA and a .931 SV%. This is a talented young player that could be very important depth for this organization down the road.

Round 6

Picks: 1 (183rd)

With the 183rd pick of the sixth round, the Tampa Bay Lightning selected 6 foot 1 LW Cole Koepke. This isn’t my favorite pick by the Bolts as we already have a plethora of young forwards, especially on the left side. However, I am not one to go against Yzerman’s drafting skills. Koepke had a nice offensive season posting 28 goals and 39 points last season. The best part about Koepke’s game is his size while being an offensive player he can still make plays at the net and be good on the penalty kill. This is most likely why the Bolts brought him in to help fit these needs.

Round 7

Picks: 2 (206th, 214th)

With their final two picks in the 7th round, the Bolts brought in defenseman Radim Salda and goaltender Ty Taylor. Salda is another nice defensive prospect and offers more of a playmaker role on the blue line. This was the third defenseman selected by the Bolts this draft, mostly due to the fact defenseman where the deeper position. As for Taylor I really like this pick as the Bolts do not have a lot of depth at goalie and Taylor had a fantastic season last year. Taylor posted a 1.87 GAA with a .931 SV%. Taylor also recorded 7 shutouts last season showing he has the ability to shut down games quickly.

Overall: B-

This definitely wasn’t the most exciting draft for Bolts fans as we did not have our first round pick and we did not make any major moves during the draft. However, I see this draft as one that prepares us for the future. The Bolts added a few nice players that may take some time to develop, such as Magnus Chrona. and filled in the depth role for goaltenders. The Bolts did not really address any major needs for the current team aside from maybe Cole Koepke. But they rather built up the depth on the defensive side of things for the future. Considering where the teams currently sits, is the reason I did not give them a lower grade. The Bolts are built for now and we have seen how well the Bolts have drafter before, so why go and go all in on one player when you can possibly extend your window opportunity.


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